“…Or Not to Be (The Wolfman’s Struggle)” by Harrison Ambler (from The Unagi Creative)

“…Or Not to Be (The Wolfman’s Struggle)” by Harrison Ambler (from The Unagi Creative)

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The private jet was already at cruising altitude as the hostess wheeled the cart back into the galley. She had just served tea to the only two passengers on the plane, who had thanked her, checked her out surreptitiously and then returned to their conversation.

The two gentlemen were dressed formally in business suits and spoke with distinctively British accents. They addressed each other most-strangely with the prefix of “Brother”, even though they almost surely could not have been brothers, given the large age gap. They didn’t appear to be of any known religious order.

“It’s getting harder to find them, Brother Victor.” Said Brother Abraham, the younger.

“That’s a good thing, Brother Abraham. Isn’t it?” Replied Brother Victor, the elder, with a dubious smile.

“That’s just it; I don’t think they are becoming extinct. I think they are just getting better at hiding.”

Brother Victor nodded in acknowledgement. “Then perhaps it’s time we changed our approach. Instead going after them, we must have them come to us.”

“I don’t think that would work, Brother Victor. They’re too smart to be easily baited; it’s not as though we were trying to catch fish or some simple beast. They are cunning, wise even.”

“You’re thinking too laterally, Brother Abraham, think deeper.”

“What do you mean?” Brother Abraham was slightly perplexed.

“Think about it, Brother Abraham, have you ever found them alone, ever?”

“Of course not, Brother Victor. We know they are pack animals.”

“Now we draw closer.” Brother Victor said with his eyes twinkling.

“I’m afraid you’re losing me, Brother Victor.”

Brother Victor paused and thought for a second, before proceeding. “What I am about to propose would sound like a terrible idea, but I would ask that you take some time to think about it.

“However, before I do go on, I should give you some background information. During my early days as a Huntsman, when Yaphet was in charge of the guild, we didn’t just kill the aberrations, we began to capture them.

Brother Abraham was visibly surprised. “Capture? Brother Victor, it is impossible.”

“Yes. As you can imagine, this was no mean feat. Before it was done, if at all it was successful, at least four or five Huntsmen were bound to lose their lives in the process. A very unpleasant business. And the truth is, we only managed it because we had help from the Kushim the Wampyr. Till today, I do not know what deal was struck between Kushim and Yaphet, but speculation on the glue for that unholy alliance is a topic for another time.

“So we caught them and kept them in specially dedicated locations guarded by select members of the guild along with Kushim’s children.

As if catching and keeping them alive wasn’t hard enough, whenever we did, we had to fight off attacks from other Wolfmen who appeared bent on rescuing them. It didn’t matter how far away we took them or how well we tried to hide them, when the moon was full, in the dead of night, the Wolfman would always come for his kin.

It was almost as if they were connected telepathically.

Yaphet studied their behavior for a long time and it wasn’t until I assumed the role of Chief Huntsman, that I realized what he had been doing.”

“What had he being doing?” asked Brother Abraham leaning forward in his seat.

“Here’s the kicker; he had been trying to find a way to tap into the telepathic connection of the Wolfman using Alchemy.”

Brother Abraham nodded, “With the help of the shadowy boys in the basement. Did they succeed?”

“No, they didn’t; at least not directly. They did however lay the groundwork that has only recently led to some very interesting developments. Specifically, a serum using the blood samples collected from the Wolfmen over time, that would effectively transform a human into something close to the Wolfman, but not quite Wolfman. Something that would enable the recipient of the serum to connect to the collective pack link and hopefully call out to them and possibly even locate them.”

“Has the Serum been tried before?” Brother Abraham asked.

Brother Victor shook his head in response. “It’s too dangerous for random testing. Which brings me to my point. If it works, the recipient would harness great power. I would rather that were someone we know we can trust, which is why I want you to do it.

“You are Huntsman through and through, born and bred.”

“You flatter me Brother Victor, but what if something goes wrong? What if I turn into a Wolfman, unable to control myself?”

No response.

“You will put me down.” With a slight bow, Brother Abraham answered his own question.

“Look, that’s unlikely to happen.” Brother Victor tried to salvage the situation. “Till this very day, the transformation from human to Wolfman is a secret known only to the Wolfmen. What we have is simply a way to use the blood to our advantage. We have spilled so much of it, it would be good if we can put it to use and make it work for us.

I know it’s a lot to think about but I would need your decision by the time we land. Certain plans have already been set in motion.”

Brother Abraham looked solemn. It was a lot to process.

“Brother Victor, you must excuse me for a second.” Brother Abraham said, as he headed toward the restroom not waiting for a response.

Once in the restroom, the Huntsman closed the door behind himself.

Looking into the beautifully framed circular mirror, he tried to concentrate and get a message out to any Wolfman who might pick it up. He and his fellow Wolfmen now faced a new threat from the Huntsman’s guild.

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